SPAHN & SAIN and PRAY FOR RAIN ...
The Pirates slam three Braves' pitchers
May 20, 1948 ... Elmer
Riddle, the veteran Pittsburgh right-hander, blanked the Braves 13 to
0 tonight at Braves Field. Cast loose with a lame arm by Cincinnati
last fall, Riddle was picked up by the Pirates on a conditional
basis. There were going to allow him to work out with the team in
spring training and then ship him to their farm club in the
Riddle, who was the athletic director and basketball
coach of a mill team in Georgia, would go out before practice and take numerous
one-handed shots to the basket, to get the pitching strength back in his arm.
Tonight he handed out nine goose eggs and only four singles to the Braves,
throwing a ball smaller than a basketball. Only one man was able to advance as
far as second. Even the way the runner got to second was a fluke. Danny Murtaugh
slipped fielding a ground ball, and although he got the hitter at first, it
enabled Phil Masi to get to second in the eighth-inning.
What happened to the Braves pitching is more forgettable. They were slammed
for 17 hits. Red Barrett was the first on the mound. Jim Pendergast was no
improvement and Johnny Beazley was the most successful of the trio, holding the
visitors to four runs over the last 5 2/3 innings.
Pittsburgh slugger, Ralph Kiner, led the assault on the Boston hurlers. He
doubled, homered and doubled again before Beazley found out how to handle him.
He knocked in three runs to take over the National League leadership in RBIs
with a total of 25.
In the opening inning, Kiner doubled off the fence in left field to drive
home Johnny Hopp with the first run of the eventual slaughter. His homer then
started the Pirates eight run romp in the fourth inning. The home run blast
affected Barrett. He ended up walking the bases loaded before he was taken out
of the game. Pendergast pitched to five batters next, and two tripled and two
singled. Before any more damage could be done off him, Southworth took him out
in favor of Beazley.
Beazley wasn't a game saver by any means, but it was encouraging to see him
throw the ball without any signs of arm trouble.